Social media platforms Facebook and Twitter have warned Ukrainian users they may be vulnerable to hacking, after Ukraine experienced a series of cyberattacks in the wake of Russia’s invasion.
In a tweet, former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, head of global affairs and communications at Facebook owner Meta said the firm would be monitoring its platforms for “coordinated attempts to abuse our platforms,” as he claimed the firm is taking “extensive steps to fight the spread of misinformation”.
In a series of tweets yesterday evening, David Agranovich, Meta’s director of global threat disrupton, also said the firm had set up a special operations centre to monitor the situation in Ukraine, and introduced new features that allows Ukrainian users to lock their profiles
In an email to City A.M. a Meta spokesperson confirmed that the firm had “established a special operations center to respond to activity across our platform in real time.”
“It is staffed by experts from across the company, including native speakers, to allow us to closely monitor the situation so we can remove content that violates our Community Standards faster.”
“We also launched a new feature in Ukraine that allows people to lock their profile to provide an extra layer of privacy and security protection over their information.”
The Meta cybersecurity expert said the threat monitoring unit is made up various experts who will respond to real-time developments, as he explained the new security features will allow users to lock their profiles with just one click.
In a series of tweets in English, Ukrainian and Russian, Twitter’s safety unit also said users in “conflict zones and high-risk areas” should take measures to boost the security of their profiles, as the tech company signalled users may be safer deleting their accounts altogether.
The warnings come after the Ukrainian government said it had been hit by series of cyberattacks, which the country blamed on Russia. The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks brought down websites owned by several Ukrainian banks and governmental bodies.
Both Facebook and Twitter have been used widely by Ukrainian activists and researchers to distribute information on the current crisis. The measures come as social media platforms face criticism for allowing themselves to be vehicles for misinformation.